liquid mercury fact sheet How to prevent and avoid exposure from mercury spills. What is mercury? Mercury is a naturally occurring metal. Liquid mercury is shiny and silver-white. It is odorless. Most people have seen liquid mercury sometime during their life in thermometers and barometers. It is used in blood pressure machines, as well. Mercury is also found in batteries, dental fillings, outdoor lighting, neon signs, and camera equipment. How might I be exposed to liquid mercury? —Breaking a thermometer or other mercury-containing instrument in your home —Breathing vapors in air from mercury spills, incinerators, and industries that burn mercury-containing fuels —Release of mercury from dental work and medical treatments —Breathing contaminated workplace air or through skin contact during use in the workplace. Workplaces that commonly use mercury include dental, health services, and chemical industries
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